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2023 Annual Meeting: Denise Rice

Denise Rice 05

Denise Rice, CEO, Peak Performance, Inc. and The Smart Factory Institute

Denise Rice is president and owner of Peak Performance, Inc.  She also serves as a Manufacturing Consultant to the Tennessee Manufacturers Association, a division of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry. 


Previously, she was an Operations Executive with a career spanning more than 25 years with Corning, Inc. and their subsidiaries holding positions including Director of Operations, Plant Manager, and Engineering Manager.  Under her leadership, Cormetech, a joint equity venture between Corning and Mitsubishi, was awarded Tennessee’s Business Recycler of the year, Gold and Platinum awards for their BEST (Business and Education Working Together) Program with Cleveland High School and was nominated for the U.S. Department of Defense Freedom Award for their support of military veterans. Cormetech also received the prestigious TN Governor’s Award for Environmental Responsibility in Materials Management and was named Company of the Year by the Chattanooga Regional Manufacturers Association.

Ms. Rice has held the position of Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Chattanooga Regional Manufacturers Association and president of Cleveland Associated Industries. Both associations are committed to the needs of local manufacturing companies ranging from government affairs to education in the community to ensure a prepared workforce. After completing a three-year term as a Board of Director for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, she then served as a Board of Director for the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry. In 2014, she was appointed by the Bradley County Mayor to the Southeast Tennessee Workforce Development Board. 

Rice’s passion is inspiring and encouraging the STEM programs among middle, high school, and college students. She is an active industry advisor to Cleveland High and Walker Valley High School’s engineering programs and is a member and past president of the Chattanooga Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers. She was a finalist for the Supernova award by the Young Women’s Leadership Academy Foundation.

Rice received her Bachelor’s of Science in electrical engineering from Syracuse University. She received her certificate from The Lean Manufacturing Leadership Institute at the University of Kentucky and a certificate from the Executive Development Institute at Vanderbilt University. In 2018, she was selected and completed the Goldman Sach’s 10K Small Businesses Entrepreneurship Program at Babson College.

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